Vitaly Kravtsov is back with a bang

Vitaly Kravtsov missed some games due to a injury. However, the Rangers 2018 first round pick returned with a bang by scoring a nice goal for Traktor Chelyabinsk in a 4-2 win over Amur Khabarovsk on Friday.

Here are two different looks on his goal. Kravtsov makes a nice toe drag to get the first shot off around a defender and then is able to get to the rebound and score.

It was the 20-year old Russian’s first game since Sep. 29. In a dozen games, the Rangers budding forward prospect has seven goals with two assists for Traktor. He doesn’t turn 21 until two days before Christmas.

Above is the game summary via the official KHL site. That can be found at to keep track of your favorite Russian prospects.

Kravtsov remains with Traktor Chelyabinsk for the ’20-21 season. Whether we see him debut with the Rangers remains to be seen.

That largely depends on what happens with next season, tentatively planned to begin in January 2021. Even with the NHL postponing the Winter Classic between the Wild and Blues along with canceling the All-Star Gane in Florida, they still intend to start 2021 in over two months.

The question is will a majority of games be played in a bubble a la the successful Stanley Cup Tournament. Considering that there are increases in COVID-19 due to the temperature change and more people not wearing masks or social distancing outside, I am inclined to believe you won’t see any Rangers hockey at MSG until who knows how long.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the safety of the players, coaches, trainers, refs and team personnel. We saw how well the playoff bubble worked in host cities Edmonton and Toronto. Not one single player tested positive.

I wonder what the schedule could look like. I think it would have to be abbreviated. No way can I see them doing a full 82 games. I’ve heard the number 55 tossed around, which is in line with a shortened season. Maybe they can do 60 to 65.

Of course, all this is speculative. Things can change this winter. Let’s hope it’s for the better.

It’s nice to see Kravtsov continuing to improve in a important pro year for his hometown team in Traktor. If he keeps it up, there’s reason for optimism for the Blueshirts and their fans.

Очень хорошо Виталий Кравцов!

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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